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Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson will be sidelined for at least the next month due to a recurring Achilles tendon injury that flared up during the Round 16 loss to the Titans.

The 33-year-old had been playing through Achilles issues for much of the first part of the season, often missing significant training time each week to be able to play in games. However, coach Andrew Webster said on Tuesday that the situation has now reached a point where Johnson can no longer continue.

“It’s all related to the Achilles. Shaun rehabbed it and felt great but hasn’t returned to his desired form,” Webster explained.

“You could see he wasn’t able to perform as needed, so he’ll be out for at least four weeks.”

Cowboys coach Todd Payten has decided not to play Jeremiah Nanai in Round 17 due to a minor calf issue. However, the back-rower is still on track to play for the Maroons in Game Two after resuming training with his state teammates on Saturday.

North Queensland might see the return of veteran forwards Jordan McLean (calf) and Jake Granville (biceps), with both included in the 22-man squad pending fitness tests later this week.

Parramatta forward J’maine Hopgood has been left out as he continues to recover from a back issue that arose from his Origin debut earlier this month. Meanwhile, the Eels will welcome back powerhouse winger Maika Sivo after a two-week absence due to a hamstring injury.

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